Visiting the iconic Cape of Good Hope
Tue 26 Dec 2017 12:00
|On our way down to the Cape of Good Hope we dropped Freddy off at a friend’s house, thanking him for everything he’s done for us through the Volvo Ocean Race.
Now off to the Cape of Good Hope! A few weeks earlier we had passed this point coming from the East and Indian Ocean into the Atlantic and sailing by the iconic Cape of Good Hope. Seeing now from land it was fun to know that we had crossed this by sea only a few weeks earlier.
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsul in South Africa.
A common misconception is that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, based on the misbelief that the Cape was the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. In fact, the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Algulhas about 150 kilometres to the east-southeast. The currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Algulhas current meets the cold-water Benguela current and turns back on itself. That oceanic meeting point fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point (about 1.2 kilometres east of the Cape of Good Hope).
When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus, the first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East. Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas ("Cape of Storms”; Dutch: Stormkaap), which was the original name of the "Cape of Good Hope”.
As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has long been of special significance to sailors, many of whom refer to it simply as "the Cape”.
It is a waypoint on the Cape Route and the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races.
The term Cape of Good Hope is also used in three other ways:
- It is a section of the Table Mountain National Park, within which the cape of the same name, as well as Cape Point, falls. Prior to its incorporation into the national park, this section constituted the Cape Point Nature Reserve
- It was the name of the early Cape Colony established by the Dutch East Indies Company in 1652, on the Cape Peninsula
- Just before the Union of South Africa was formed, the term referred to the entire region that in 1910 was to become the Cape of Good Hope Province
One historical account says that Dias named the promontory Cape of Storms and that John II of Portugal renamed it Cape of Good Hope (because its discovery was a good omen that India could be reached by sea from Europe); other sources attribute its present name to Dias himself.
Yet another very windy day!
After The Cape of Good Hope we drove back home stopping on our way to visit the African Penguins.
Amazing view but oh my the bad smell among these penguins. You had to breath through your mouth to not feel intoxicated!
Back on the road again we passed by Chapham’s Peak and Hout Bay. The landscape is absolutely beautiful!
A friend on the way
Always amazed by the view at home.